When you think of sled dogs, Arctic-loving breeds, like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Samoyeds most likely come to mind. But did you know many non-sled dog breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Irish Setters, German Pointers, and St. Bernards—among other breeds—have been employed to pull sleds across snowy terrain, too?
Whether you're adding one of these athletic breeds to the family, love the history of sled dogs, or simply want to add a little bit of adventure to your everyday, these sled dog-inspired names just might be the perfect pick for your pooch.
Top Sled Dog Names
From snowy terrain, to wildlife, to amazing celestial phenomena best viewed in the Arctic, some of the world's most remote, wintery landscapes are jam-packed with unique sled dog names.
Tips for Naming Your New Dog
It's no secret: Bringing home a new dog is ruff work. Between shopping for your new dog's gear, like a comfortable bed and fun toys, choosing a high-quality, nutritious kibble, and prepping your home for a puppy—or even an older dog—the to-do list may feel never ending. Need a little extra pressure? You have to think of the perfect name for your new family member, too.
Here's our advice for choosing the ideal dog name:
- Choose a name that suits your dog's personality. You wouldn't give a mellow dog a name like Speed, right? Unless, of course, you want to be ironic.
- Consider names that contain one to two syllables and hard consonants. These names will be easier for your dog to hear and understand.
- Avoid names that sound like another word or a command. Naming your dog Rock, for example, will only confuse him whenever you say "walk!"
Names Inspired by Sled Dogs from History and Literature
Arctic adventures have inspired explorers—both real-life and fictional—for hundreds and hundreds of years. Check out these sled dog names straight out of the history books (or your favorite childhood adventure novels) for your heroic boy or girl.
- Aro: One of the two dogs that survived a disastrous 1958 Japanese expedition through the Arctic, Aro was able to survive harsh, snowy conditions for a full year before being discovered by another expedition.
- Balto: Perhaps the best-known sled dog in history, Balto was the lead sled dog on a mission to deliver diptheria antitoxin to cities plagued by the disease—during one of history's worst winter storms. Balto, however, succeeded in his mission and saved countless lives by bravely leading his team across harsh, snowy terrains.
- Buck: The central character of Jack London's adventure novel The Call of the Wild, Buck was a 140-pound St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix that was stolen from his family and sold to sled mushers. Although he was a fictional character, Buck has inspired snowy adventures for generations.
- Jiro: Aro's companion, Jiro, was the second sled dog to survive the 1958 Japanese expedition that ended with the crew being airlifted from an ice well. Sadly, the crew had to leave their 15 sled dogs behind, but Jiro and Aro were able to survive on their own.
- Laika: Found on the streets of the Soviet Union, Laika was a mixed breed Husky who gained world-wide fame by becoming the first dog to enter space. She left the Earth's atmosphere aboard Sputnik 2.
- Togo: Togo and his team ran over 300 miles to deliver diptheria antitoxin to of Nome, Alaska. The serum run—known as the Great Race of Mercy—produced many other famous sled dogs, including Balto.
- White Fang: Another beloved Jack London character, White Fang was a wild wolf-dog that formed a loving bond with the Yukon gold hunter who rescued him from an abusive owner.
Sled Dog Names from Inuit Languages
Inuit actually isn't a language—rather, it's a group of five closely related languages that make up the Eskimo-Aleut language family tree. They're mostly spoken in Western Alaska and Chukotka, Russian, but we think some words and phrases make super unique dog names.
- Aga ("mother")
- Amak ("playful")
- Chinook ("warm wind")
- Eska ("creek")
- Kavik ("wolverine")
- Miska ("little bear")
- Nanook ("cute")
- Shila ("flame")
- Siku ("ice")
- Suka ("fast")
Sled Dog Names Inspired by Speed
Sure, it may seem a little on-the-nose, but why not name your sled dog after the thing he or she does best? The amazing, science-defying metabolisms possessed by Siberian Huskies enable them to run for hours and hours without stopping, but these speedy monikers might help your pooch pick up the pace, too.
Other Dog Name Ideas
Looking for more dog-naming inspiration? Be sure to check out: